with Jack Pendarvis

There is nothing I enjoy more while soaking in a hot bath of Epsom salts and red wine vinegar than contemplating a humble household item and imbuing it with dignity and almost cosmic profundity thanks to my interesting thoughts.

The hard part is deciding which object to think about. To that end, I usually call the neighbors over. They crowd into my little bathroom and shout suggestions at me.

“Razor blades!”

“A bar of soap!”


“Shower curtain rod!”

“Mr. T as a librarian!”

“I believe I heard ‘faucet,’” I recently replied. Everyone claimed not to have said “faucet,” but I knew what I heard.

“Who can say how a faucet really works?” I extemporized. “I like to imagine that there is a pipe leading directly into a big lake, and perhaps a form of suction is employed, but I guess we will never know.”

“We know exactly how a faucet works,” claimed one rabble-rouser, who happened to be costumed in the uniform of an ordinary plumber.

Get out!” I screamed, and I must admit that some blood came out of my mouth due to a recurrence of typhoid coupled with the unforeseen vehemence of my commanding rasp, which, it must be said, served its purpose of clearing the room and giving me ample time to contemplate and reckon with the fanciful notions that capered in my head thanks to my disdain for book learning and my healthy regard for the reliability of good old-fashioned common sense.

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Jack Pendarvis has written three books.

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